Cultural Issue in the Context of Multicultural Team

Topics: Culture, Cross-cultural communication, Geert Hofstede Pages: 13 (4151 words) Published: October 3, 2013
Table of Contents
1.1Reason for chosen topic
1.1.1Personal interest
1.1.2 Scientific significance
1.2Problem discussion
2.1 Definition
2.2 Hofstede
2.2.1 Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions
2.3 Shortcomings of Cultural Dimensions
2.4 Own opinion
3.Intercultural competence
3.1Intercultural Competence Model
3.2Drawbacks of the Intercultural Competence Model
Multicultural team


“Despite popular beliefs to the contrary,
the single greatest barrier to business
success is the one erected by culture”
E.T. Hall and M.R. Hall

1.1Reason for chosen topic
1.1.1Personal interest
Being born in Russia and having lived there more than half of my life, I could not even image that so many cultural differences exist. Later, I had the chance to experience cultural differences by living for 4 years in Austria and for 1,5 years in Germany. Often, I have been exposed to working within intercultural teams and I have to say that besides I experienced this as a great enrichment overall, there were always also a lot of misunderstandings and problems resulting from the different cultural backgrounds of the team members. As a consequence, I got very interested in learning more about the cultural differences in general and also to understand what exactly makes up culture and thus, intercultural competence. I am keen to learn to interact successfully in a multicultural team. At the same time while studying the various theories and positions about this these topics, I regularly find myself disagreeing with some of the statements as they contradict with some of my personal professional experiences. 1.1.2Scientific significance

The beginning of globalization has led to transitions in almost all areas of businesses. Companies are responding to the challenges of globalization by rethinking and reshaping their traditional ways of functioning. Teams are being put in place to work in an efficient and effective way. One consequence of the fact that more and more often people from diverse cultures are brought together in teams is that the traditional teamwork has undergone a fundamental transformation. This development has led to a significant effect for teams and their operations. These days, the teams of the globalized era, in addition to being entitled to manage traditional team tasks and their diversities involved thereof resulting for example from different demographic and functional background, they are nowadays also confronted with the management of the additional tasks of cultural diversity or multiculturalism in teams. According to Appelbaum (1998) multicultural task groups will become more common. This, as a direct result of the growing globalization and the emergence of new technology. The increased awareness of culture and its values will position such task force members throughout the organization to better understand each other. Growing knowledge of the various cultural backgrounds is building a better understanding among team members, which is very crucial for an organization and its success.

1.2Problem Discussion
One of the main problems with the different methods to define a culture is the universalistic view they take. Universalistic approaches to the culture are Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions, Hall’s Culture Model, Culture Dimensions of Trompenaar, the Culture Model of Shalom H. Schwartz, the nine Dimensions of Globe Study, etc. In this essay, I will discuss Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions and its limitations. Hoftede’s Cultural Dimensions are very often mentioned in the scientific papers (Tian, 2004; Johan 2006; Luger, 2002; Johnston 2008 etc.) and used in the textbooks (e.g. Daft, 2008). Thus, this culture model has a high relevance in the science....

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